Prostate Cancer – Treatment Options

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Prostate cancer is a very common form of cancer in men. It is also one of the most curable forms of cancer, and can be treated successfully by surgery, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. The following information will help you understand prostate cancer and how to treat it.

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate gland is a small gland that is located at the base of the bladder. It secretes a fluid that helps to keep the urine flowing smoothly through the urinary tract. When this fluid becomes abnormal, it can cause symptoms such as difficulty urinating, frequent urination, burning sensation during urination, and blood in the urine. This is known as “prostatitis.” If the cancer is not caught early enough, it may spread to other parts of the body, causing pain and swelling in the bones, lungs, liver and lymph nodes.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

There are many factors that increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. These include age, race, family history, diet, alcohol consumption, obesity, smoking, and exposure to certain chemicals and toxins.

How Is It Diagnosed?

If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, you should see your doctor right away. He will conduct a physical examination, including a digital rectal exam (DRE) to determine if there is any enlargement of the prostate gland. Your doctor may also order a blood test to check for elevated levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). Elevated PSA levels are often an indication of prostate cancer. However, they can also be found in healthy men, and may indicate a more serious problem.

Treatment Options

Surgery is the first option for treating prostate cancer. The goal of surgery is to remove all of the cancer cells from the prostate gland. There are two types of surgery: open surgery and minimally invasive surgery. Open surgery involves making a large incision in the abdomen. Minimally invasive surgery uses tiny incisions in the abdomen. A special scope is inserted into the penis to allow the surgeon to view the area. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the cancerous tissue, and stitches the area back together.

Radiation therapy is another treatment option. In this type of treatment, high energy x-rays are used to kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy is usually given before surgery.

Hormone therapy is another treatment option. Hormone therapy is sometimes used after surgery, and is also used when the cancer has not spread to other parts of the prostate gland. Hormone therapy reduces the production of testosterone in the body.

Prostate cancer is a very treatable form of cancer. You should discuss with your doctor what options are available to you.